Ronnie backs conqueror Bingham

Hampshire Chronicle: Ronnie O'Sullivan, pictured, lost to Stuart Bingham Ronnie O'Sullivan, pictured, lost to Stuart Bingham

Ronnie O'Sullivan lent support to his conqueror Stuart Bingham in the last four of the williamhill.com UK Championship - but he mainly just wants to be entertained.

Bingham spoiled O'Sullivan's 38th birthday with only his second win in their 10 career meetings, the 6-4 scoreline avenging his 10-8 defeat in the recent Champion of Champions final.

And O'Sullivan said: "It just shows the character of the guy, he's able to do it under pressure now so all credit to him, and good luck to him.

"He's had a brilliant season, winning the PTC in Asia, he got to the final of the (Champion of Champions), he's now in the semis of our second-most important event.

"You can't get those results if you're not able to perform under pressure."

The 'Rocket', who made breaks of 135 and 127 as he attempted to fight back from 4-1 down, added: "When you're out of the tournament, you just hope it's good snooker so I can go home for the weekend and enjoy the entertainment."

Having beaten the world champion, Bingham next faces world number one Neil Robertson but he said: "You've got to beat everyone in front of you.

"I've got not a bad record against Neil and I'll be pretty confident. It's my first UK semi-final and I'm going to jinx myself here but I've got a good semi-final record.

"For the last two or three years it's been coming a bit regularly so I'll draw on my experience, enjoy it and hopefully play well."

Mark Selby and Ricky Walden will meet in the other semi-final after beating Barry Hawkins and Mark Allen respectively.

Selby came from 5-3 down to win a late-night nail-biter, finally getting over the line just before midnight despite giving his opponent a chance with a free ball when Hawkins needed two snookers.

Selby is a specialist in last-frame deciders and said: "I never gave up, which is always my attitude, and I just managed to crawl over the line.

"A lot of the time I bring it on myself, I go out there and keep missing ball after ball and drag it out.

"I just wish I could go out there and go century-century-century like O'Sullivan."

Walden won 6-2 against an out-of-sorts Allen, who was struggling with the ferrule of his cue.

The Chester player's parents had planned to attend should he get to the semi-final, but he said: "I spoke to my dad before and he said only if I get to the final now, so he's gone back on his word."

He joked: "He's happy on the couch at the minute I think, just watching it. Great support, eh?"

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